Monday, January 03, 2005

Blogs and the tsunami

Have recently spotted two blogs that provide rather detailed coverage on the tsunami's effect in TamilNadu. A journo pair Amit Varma and Dilip D' Souza are currently touring these areas. Some excerpts from their blogs..

1. "Mariamma says, only the Muslims helped us that day. Understood? From the whole town, only the Muslims. The Muslim ex-MLA here, Nizamuddin, organized food and water for us after the wave, and has been sending more to us every day. Only those "Islam people" helped us! The Hindus did nothing for us! Write it!

But aren't you Hindus? And if so, what do you mean by "the Hindus"? We are scheduled castes, Pariyars, explains Pakiyam. The Hindus don't care for us. That's why they didn't help us.

This is hard for me to say. But I have never faced such an insistent demand: write it! Over and over. So I wrote it. I write it."

2. "You look at the pictures and you know: the wailing mothers, the families carrying their dead, the people lining the roads asking for news of their missing -- if not entirely, these people are overwhelmingly our poor. Not the investment bankers or the Page 3 dudettes.

The same in every disaster.

Though it sometimes takes months to comprehend the true magnitude of that sameness. In Kutch in 2001, a gigantic quake killed by the thousand. In particular, several high-rises collapsed, killing their middle-class residents and leaving the survivors to spend nights on the streets. But when I went back exactly a year later, travelling across Gujarat showed me just who was still feeling the after-effects of the quake. All over Bhuj, for example, I found hundreds of people still sleeping in the open, on the rubble of their hovels and tenements. Still waiting for what their government had promised them by way of help, so far unable to right their own lives, living on a generosity shared by their fellow residents of the rubble.

So yes, nature's cliched fury knows no lines of wealth or class. On Chennai's Marina beach as on the Sri Lankan and Thai coasts, joggers and tourists were swept away just as surely as fishermen in their huts were, if in smaller numbers. But go back in six months, go back in a year. The fishermen's colonies will still look like disasters, their residents will still be trying to pick up their lives."

3. A quote in one of the blogs attributed to an anonymous reporter currently doing some relief work. “The journalists from the Hindu are all flying around with dignitaries. That is the kind of reporting they do.”

1 Value-adds:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some other blogs(esp for those based in other countries), check out the links section on

your once upon a time habitually anonymous poster ;)

January 03, 2005 4:35 AM  

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